Memos: New DC Drivers May Pay 3 Times More For License

6:57 AM, Jun 17, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Some new drivers are anxious to get out on the roads, vut in the District of Columbia there's a waiting list several months long just to take the road test.  The Department of Motor Vehicles is hoping to speed up the process, but it will cost you more than triple the current price.

Daniel Callejas waited 3 months for his road test. Unfortunately on this day, he didn't quite make the grade so he has to return for another another 3 months.

Why the wait? We're told it's because of the lack of certified instructors at the DMV, although the DMV wouldn't tell us how many they have on staff. We spent about three hours outside the Brentwood DMV in Northeast and saw the two same instructors, clip boards in hand, heading out for the 20 minute road test.

Our sources confirm that things have to change, but that change will cost you. We exclusively obtained internal memos where the DMV is recruiting driving school instructors that will speed up the process for a price. Currently, people pay a total of $55 to get a DC license but could pay nearly $200 in the future.

A driving school instructor was the only one who agreed to talk to us on camera but we had to hide his face and disguise his voice. He has his doubts about the program but says his business may not be able to survive if everyone else is participating.

Here's how the costs add up: a person getting his/her license would pay the driving school instructor $100 to take the test, pay the DMV $55 in processing fees, and if they don't have a car they pay to use the driving school's vehicle.

But even the instructor we talked to wonders if the process opens the door for possible corruption. Though this 12 month contract and application outlines a driving instructor must increase his insurance and cannot test his own students, many wonder if these non-government instructors would pass someone for an extra $50.

In an e-mail, the DMV spokesperson tells us the program is scheduled to be implemented by the end of this month, but the department still has not released details to the public.  Other steps to shorten the wait time include extending the period a driver can renew an expired license without re-taking the written exam or road test.

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